Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
The Veterans Affairs Office extended Agent Orange benefits to more veterans. The VA established three additional service-connections for Vietnam Veterans exposed to Agent Orange.
The illnesses affected by the recent decision are B-cell leukemias, such as hairy-cell leukemia; Parkinson's disease; and ischemic heart disease.
Used in Vietnam to defoliate trees and remove concealment for the enemy, Agent Orange left a legacy of suffering and disability that continues to the present. Between January 1965 and April 1970, an estimated 2.6 million military personnel who served in Vietnam were potentially exposed to sprayed Agent Orange.
In practical terms, veterans who served in Vietnam during the war and who have a "presumed" illness don't have to prove an association between their illnesses and their military service. This "presumption" simplifies and speeds up the application process for benefits.
For more information about the new "presumptive diseases," you need to contact your local county Veterans Service Officer.
In Stearns County, the St. Cloud Office number is (320) 656-6176, and the Melrose office number is (320) 256-1435.